Why I remember.

11 11 2010

Today is Remembrance Day. I brought my kids over to the local cenotaph to observe this somber day, like we have done for several years. The ceremony was beautiful, as always, and never fails to evoke a deep sense of pride and patriotism in me, as well as sadness and also a tiny bit of hope.

I have heard and seen protesters at theses ceremonies before. I have listened to some, who say they wouldn’t bring their children to the cenotaph, as it sends a message of a sort of pro-war sentiment. That for some, it glorifies war.

Others though, are much like me. They bring their kids to these ceremonies to reflect and remember. We need to pass this down to our children, without promoting the ideal of war, but rather to practice gratitude for the soldiers who sacrificed so very much.

I like to think of it as a reminder. A reminder that I can wear what I want, pray how I want, live the way I want, and raise my children as equal citizens in a country based on freedom.

And that, at this very moment, someone is fighting over in Afghanistan for this very thing, for people they don’t know. They are fighting for the simple and fundamental rights of women, children and all human beings. To be able to live without fear, and I hope someday, in peace.

I don’t like war. I fucking hate hearing about all the mess-ups with Iraq, about Canadians being blown up in Kandahar. Yeah, I’m anti-war. But I am also pro-freedom. It really sucks that sometimes war happens. It would be so wonderful to live in a world where peace is normal. But the human race, with all its glory and beauty is also a race of nasty savagery. Who am I to say that the fighting should not happen? Who will fight for those children’s future? If we choose to adhere to never being engaged in conflict, then what would happen to the countless people succumbing to dictatorships, militia and religious fundamentalists? When you fear for your life and the lives of your children, would you not appreciate the efforts of someone coming to your aid and fighting for you?

Yet, I still wish that the world could change. I live each day with gratitude, and I try to extend kindness as much as I can. I raise my children to be aware and empathetic. If everyone would choose to just “live and let live”, and apply simple kindness in every day life, indeed this place would be entirely different.

Until this happens, I will always Remember.

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6 responses

11 11 2010
Lana Collins/Torwalt

Very well said. I too, share your views. Thanks again.

12 11 2010
Kris

Thanks for always reading my stuff Lana… xo

11 11 2010
Ronda

Well, what do I say…. tears in my eyes reading this and you did it again Kris… you just know how to get your point across in such a wonderful warm but a honest way… you make me proud and I to, will always remember! Love you!

12 11 2010
Kris

Thanks so much!! xo

16 11 2010
Tracy Stuart

Kris, It is always great to read your page.

This Remembrance Day we attended the ceremonies at Esquimalt near the Naval Base. As usual, my husband wore his Red Serge (what you don’t see is that small tatoo of a Canadian Flag on his right shoulder that truly reflect his patriotism.) It was a special day as he was honoured with the privilege of pushing his 87 year old father in a wheelchair with the Veterans in the parade to the cenotaph. Most of these men were Korean War vets but in Jonathan’s father case he served in WW II as a Engineer Room Artificer at the age of 18, years later he commanded him own ship, the HMS Algonquin as a Captain.
This day was bittersweet as Jon’s father has recently been diagnosed with dementia and is starting become confused with daily events. That being said, he was interviewed by a Nanaimo radio station following the ceremony and described his naval career in incredible detail and with immense pride. With his chest laden with medals, he described the honour of serving Canada and how proud he was of his son for serving his country in a different way as a Peace Officer (Jonathan is an RCMP Corporal). Jonathan’s interview followed and by the end the tears were streaming down my face and others. It was truly and proud and humbling moment that will forever be etched in my memory.

My hope is that all of our children never have to experience first hand what my childrens grandfather endured and that they truly learn the sacrifices made for our freedom and always….REMEMBER.
As always, you get us thinking!

17 11 2010
Kris

Thanks Tracy, for such a wonderful story!! Hugs to you and Jon and the kids! xo

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